I Want to Open My Own Archery Shop. But How? (Part 2)

To help you reach Olympic status, the Archery Trade Association has compiled even more tips, resources and information to create Part 2 of startup business best practices.
Photo Credit: ATA

Author: Cassie Gasaway

When diving into the murky waters of the small-business world, you’ll soon find yourself sinking or swimming. To help you reach Olympic status, the Archery Trade Association has compiled even more tips, resources and information to create Part 2 of startup business best practices. Read Part 1 here.

With your business plan in place, professionals hired for the job, and 15-item checklist complete, it’s time to learn how to make your startup business succeed.


Join the Archery Trade Association

Mark Copeland, store director for Jay’s Sporting Goods in Gaylord, Michigan, advises new business owners to become ATA members.

“A byproduct of an ATA membership is being able to attend the ATA Trade Show each January,” Copeland said. “While there, you can network with dealers in other parts of the country, and gain access to archery-specific resources and programs like Explore Bowhunting and Explore Bowfishing.

The ATA Trade Show is the archery and bowhunting industry’s largest and most inclusive trade show. The event is closed to the public, so ATA members can conduct uninterrupted business with like-minded, archery-loving professionals. It’s a great place to network, write orders, score deals, discuss the market and build relationships. Read about the 2022 Show here.

The ATA’s Business Resources also provides tools and techniques to help improve your store’s profitability. The ATA’s outreach team can help you build a plan tailored to your shop’s specific needs.

Click here to join the ATA. If you have questions and concerns about ATA membership, contact John Lewis, ATA’s senior manager of membership, at (507) 233-8147, or

ATA Trade Show attendees can get their Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3 certification. Photo Credit: ATA

Get Your Archery Instructor Certification

Instructor certification boosts your marketing value, provides your staff valuable skills and knowledge, and gives your store access to Explore Archery and Junior Olympic Archery Development programs, which attract and engage new archers.

USA Archery has partnered with the ATA so retailers can get their Level 1 or Level 2 archery instructor certification at the Trade Show. We provide several reasons to obtain your instructor certification at the Show. The class saves time and money, it’s tailored to ATA-member retailers, and it’s taught by top-notch teachers.

If you want to earn these certifications but can’t attend classes at the ATA Trade Show, visit USA Archery to find a class near you.

Join other buyer groups like ARRO. ARRO hosts their "ARRO Hot Show" in conjunction with the ATA Trade Show every year. Photo Credit: ATA

Join Archery Organizations and Buyer Groups

Joining an organization such as USA Archery, Scholastic 3-D Archery, Archery Shooters Association or the National Field Archery Association can reap many benefits. These organizations offer many programs and classes to help you attract new customers, maintain existing customers, sell more equipment and, most importantly, increase your profits. Some of these organizations also provide insurance options. If not, check out the insurance providers on the ATA’s website.

A buyer group harnesses the buying power of individual archery and bowhunting retailers into a cooperative membership group to receive manufacturers’ best wholesale pricing. These groups give members exclusive access to special pricing, which helps them save money. Talk to staff at the Archery Range and Retailers Organization or the National Archery Buyers Association to help decide whether these buying groups would benefit your business.


Advertise, Promote and Market Yourself

Even if your budget is tight, you can find plenty of ways to advertise for free or a small fee. A website is crucial for making your business more credible. Also learn to maximize your presence through social media, word-of-mouth advertising, and press releases or media packages.

A professional-looking website is the first step toward earning credibility as an archery business and attracting new customers. Customers today often study your company online before calling or visiting your store, so it’s vital that your website accurately reflects who you are, and the services and products you offer. If you already have a website, make sure it’s up to date. Learn how ATA can help here.

Use these tips to create a social-media plan, and stick to it. By studying your audience, you can better determine which platforms to use, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or Pinterest. If you have a little extra advertising money, try boosting your Facebook posts. The most important thing you can do to capitalize on social media is engage in social listening.

Working with the media is another way to get free advertising and exposure. Pitch news briefs to your local newspaper and TV station about your events or tournaments.

Also, encourage friends and family to plug your store whenever possible. As you accumulate customers, ask them to do the same. Word-of-mouth advertising is an effective, unpaid promotion in which satisfied customers tell others how much they like a business, product or service. It delivers many benefits. Read these tips that will get your customers complimenting your shop.


Become a Lifelong Learner

Realize you won’t know it all, and you never will. The best business owners never stop learning and searching for new ways to generate more business, make more money, improve customer experiences, and become the epitome of success.

Initially, though, it’s easy to get in over your head, so ask questions and talk shop with others in your field. Continue doing your research, and know the ATA is always here to help.

Contact the ATA business office, (866) 266-2776, to ask questions and learn more.

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